Former Louisville star Michael Bush is joining the Chicago Bears, perhaps to team with Matt Forte and give the team two hard and effective runners who can alternate punishing defense.
Or maybe in a more visible role should Forte hold out after he earlier was slapped with the franchise tag.
Bush played four seasons for the Oakland Raiders, gaining 2,642 yards (4.2 yards per carry) and scoring 21 touchdowns. The powerful 245-pound back had his most productive season in 2011, setting career highs in rushes (256), yards (977), touchdowns (7), receptions (37) and yards receiving (418).
"I think there are enough carries to go around," said Bush, who signed a four-year deal the Chicago Tribune reported was worth $14 million, with $7 million guaranteed.
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Around the league
Broncos: Free agent receiver Andre Caldwell elected to sign with Denver on Thursday in large part because of the presence of Peyton Manning. "He gets the best out of the receivers," said Caldwell, who spent the last four seasons with the Cincinnati Bengals. "That's a big reason why I came."
49ers: San Francisco announced the signing of former Giants wide receiver Mario Manningham, whose over-the-shoulder 38-yard catch between two defenders led to the winning touchdown in the Super Bowl.
Jaguars: Coach Mike Mularkey said reports he didn't want quarterback Tim Tebow on the team were false. "Don't believe everything you hear or read in the media," Mularkey said. "We wouldn't have tried to trade for him if we didn't feel like we didn't want to have him here. ... In the long run, it did not work out." The Jaguars offered a fourth-round draft pick for Tebow, but the Jacksonville native and former Florida star ended up going to the New York Jets for two picks.
Bengals: Running back BenJarvus Green-Ellis signed a three-year deal, giving Cincinnati another option out of the backfield. Green-Ellis replaces Cedric Benson, a free agent after leading the Bengals in rushing each of the last four seasons. Cincinnati also has Bernard Scott and Brian Leonard in the backfield. The Bengals also might take a runner in the draft.
Senator calls for hearing over NFL bounties
Sen. Dick Durbin is setting up a Judiciary Committee hearing about bounties in professional football and other major sports in the wake of news that New Orleans Saints players received extra cash for hits that hurt particular opponents. The assistant Senate majority leader, an Illinois Democrat, said Thursday he wants to examine whether federal law should make such bounty systems a crime.
"Let's be real basic about it here. If this activity were taking place off of a sporting field, away from a court, nobody would have a second thought (about whether it's wrong). 'You mean, someone paid you to go out and hurt someone?'" Durbin said.